Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.
In Moses’ first speech to the people, he reminds them of the Lord’s faithfulness and trustworthiness. You can almost sense his desperate desire for the people to obey. He reminds them that the land east of the Jordan has already been given. And he implores the men of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh to go with their brothers to secure the rest of the land west of the Jordan (3:12-22).
He encourages them to remain obedient.. reminding them of how their brothers who worshiped Baal of Peor (Num. 25:1-5) were killed by the Lord “but you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today” (4:4). He also warns that if they disobey “that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed” (4:26).
Moses knows that his death is imminent. We’ll continue to see his passion for the people’s obedience and trust in God’s word to build – culminating in his great song of faith in Deut. 32…
Moses was the great mediator between God and Israel. He pointed forward to Jesus – who is the ultimate mediator between God and the nations. I imagine Jesus’ passion for our obedience and trust surpasses that of Moses’! I pray I don’t disappoint him…